By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Earlier this year when the Southern Baptist International Mission Board announced that it needed to eliminate 600-800 positions, Southern Baptists were saddened and shocked.
IMB leaders have allowed the idea to propagate among Southern Baptists that there is a financial shortfall. The cutbacks did not occur because Southern Baptists didn’t give. Cooperative Program giving on the national level has increased in small increments over the past few years and the IMB gets the largest percentage of that offering. Just three years ago (2013), Southern Baptists gave more than $154 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, a record amount. Gifts topped $153 million the following year. In addition, the TBC began moving in 2011 toward a 50-50 distribution of wealth for Cooperative Program funds. This is resulting in hundreds of thousands of more dollars being funneled out of Tennessee and through the SBC for Great Commission causes. When the cutbacks were announced IMB leaders acknowledged that they had overspent millions of dollars over the past few years. Throwing more money at something won’t help it until the main problem of managing its money is corrected. [Read more…]